AAMC 2012 biological sciences ouline

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Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT BIOLOGY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: ENZYMES AND METABOLISM A Enzyme Structure and Function Function of enzymes in catalyzing biological reactions Reduction of activation energy Substrates and enzyme specificity B Control of Enzyme Activity Feedback inhibition Competitive inhibition Noncompetitive inhibition C Basic Metabolism Glycolysis (anaerobic and aerobic, substrates and products) Krebs cycle (substrates and products, general features of the pathway) Electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation (substrates and products, general features of the pathway) Metabolism of fats and proteins MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: DNA AND PROTEIN SYNTHESIS DNA Structure and Function A DNA Structure and Function Double-helix structure DNA composition (purine and pyrimidine bases, deoxyribose, phosphate) Base-pairing specificity, concept of complementarity Function in transmission of genetic information B DNA Replication Mechanism of replication (separation of strands, specific coupling of free nucleic acids, DNA polymerase, primer required) Semiconservative nature of replication C Repair of DNA Repair during replication Repair of mutations D Recombinant DNA Techniques Restriction enzymes Hybridization © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT Gene cloning PCR Protein Synthesis A Genetic Code Typical information flow (DNA → RNA → protein) Codon–anticodon relationship, degenerate code Missense and nonsense codons Initiation and termination codons (function, codon sequences) B Transcription mRNA composition and structure (RNA nucleotides, 5′ cap, poly-A tail) tRNA and rRNA composition and structure (e.g., RNA nucleotides) Mechanism of transcription (RNA polymerase, promoters, primer not required) C Translation Roles of mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA; RNA base-pairing specificity Role and structure of ribosomes MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: EUKARYOTES A Eukaryotic Chromosome Organization Chromosomal proteins Telomeres, centromeres B Control of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes Transcription regulation DNA binding proteins, transcription factors Cancer as a failure of normal cellular controls, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes Posttranscriptional control, basic concept of splicing (introns, exons) MICROBIOLOGY A Fungi General characteristics General aspects of life cycle B Virus Structure General structural characteristics (nucleic acid and protein, enveloped and nonenveloped) Lack of organelles and nucleus Structural aspects of typical bacteriophage Genomic content (RNA or DNA) Size relative to bacteria and eukaryotic cells © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT C Viral Life Cycle Self-replicating biological units that must reproduce within specific host cell Generalized phage and animal virus life cycles a attachment to host cell, penetration of cell membrane or cell wall, entry of viral material b use of host synthetic mechanisms to replicate viral components c self-assembly and release of new viral particles Retrovirus life cycle, integration into host DNA, reverse transcriptase Transduction, transfer of genetic material by viruses D Prokaryotic Cell: Bacteria Structure Lack of nuclear membrane and mitotic apparatus Lack of typical eukaryotic organelles Major classifications: bacilli (rod-shaped), spirilli (spiral-shaped), cocci (spherical); eubacteria, archaebacteria Presence of cell wall Flagellar propulsion E Prokaryotic Cell: Growth and Physiology Reproduction by fission High degree of genetic adaptability, acquisition of antibiotic resistance Exponential growth Existence of anaerobic and aerobic variants F Prokaryotic Cell: Genetics Existence of plasmids, extragenomic DNA, transfer by conjugation Transformation (incorporation into bacterial genome of DNA fragments from external medium) Regulation of gene expression, coupling of transcription and translation GENERALIZED EUKARYOTIC CELL A Nucleus and Other Defining Characteristics Defining characteristics (membrane-bound nucleus, presence of organelles, mitotic division) Nucleus (compartmentalization, storage of genetic information) Nucleolus (location, function) Nuclear envelope, nuclear pores B Membrane-bound Organelles Mitochondria a site of ATP production b self-replication; have own DNA and ribosomes c inner and outer membrane Lysosomes (vesicles containing hydrolytic enzymes) Endoplasmic reticulum a rough (RER) and smooth (SER) b RER (site of ribosomes) c role in membrane biosynthesis: SER (lipids), RER (transmembrane proteins) © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT d RER (role in biosynthesis of transmembrane and secreted proteins that cotranslationally targeted to RER by signal sequence) Golgi apparatus (general structure; role in packaging, secretion, and modification of glycoprotein carbohydrates) C Plasma Membrane General function in cell containment Protein and lipid components, fluid mosaic model Osmosis Passive and active transport Membrane channels Sodium–potassium pump Membrane receptors, cell signaling pathways, second messengers Membrane potential Exocytosis and endocytosis 10 Cell–cell communication (general concepts of cellular adhesion) a gap junctions b tight junctions c desmosomes D Cytoskeleton General function in cell support and movement Microfilaments (composition; role in cleavage and contractility) Microtubules (composition; role in support and transport) Intermediate filaments (role in support) Composition and function of eukaryotic cilia and flagella Centrioles, microtubule organizing centers E Cell Cycle and Mitosis Interphase and mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase) Mitotic structures and processes a centrioles, asters, spindles b chromatids, centromeres, kinetochores c nuclear membrane breakdown and reorganization d mechanisms of chromosome movement Phases of cell cycle (G0, G1, S, G2,M) Growth arrest F Apoptosis (Programmed Cell Death) © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT SPECIALIZED EUKARYOTIC CELLS AND TISSUES A Nerve Cell/Neural Cell body (site of nucleus and organelles) Axon (structure, function) Dendrites (structure, function) Myelin sheath, Schwann cells, oligodendrocytes, insulation of axon Nodes of Ranvier (role in propagation of nerve impulse along axon) Synapse (site of impulse propagation between cells) Synaptic activity a transmitter molecules b synaptic knobs c fatigue d propagation between cells without resistance loss Resting potential (electrochemical gradient) Action potential a threshold, all-or-none b sodium–potassium pump 10 Excitatory and inhibitory nerve fibers (summation, frequency of firing) B Muscle Cell/Contractile Abundant mitochondria in red muscle cells (ATP source) Organization of contractile elements (actin and myosin filaments, cross bridges, sliding filament model) Calcium regulation of contraction, sarcoplasmic reticulum Sarcomeres (―I‖ and ―A‖ bands, ―M‖ and ―Z‖ lines, ―H‖ zone—general structure only) Presence of troponin and tropomyosin C Other Specialized Cell Types Epithelial cells (cell types, simple epithelium, stratified epithelium) Endothelial cells Connective tissue cells (major tissues and cell types, fiber types, loose versus dense, extracellular matrix) NERVOUS AND ENDOCRINE SYSTEMS A Endocrine System: Hormones Function of endocrine system (specific chemical control at cell, tissue, and organ levels) Definitions of endocrine gland, hormone Major endocrine glands (names, locations, products) Major types of hormones B Endocrine System: Mechanisms of Hormone Action Cellular mechanisms of hormone action Transport of hormones (bloodstream) Specificity of hormones (target tissue) © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT Integration with nervous system (feedback control) C Nervous System: Structure and Function Major functions a high-level control and integration of body systems b response to external influences c sensory input d integrative and cognitive abilities Organization of vertebrate nervous system Sensor and effector neurons Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (functions, antagonistic control) Reflexes a feedback loop, reflex arc, effects on flexor and extensor muscles b roles of spinal cord, brain c efferent control D Nervous System: Sensory Reception and Processing Skin, proprioceptive and somatic sensors Olfaction, taste Hearing a ear structure b mechanism of hearing Vision a light receptors b eye structure c visual image processing CIRCULATORY, LYMPHATIC, AND IMMUNE SYSTEMS A Circulatory System Functions (circulation of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, ions, and fluids; removal of metabolic waste) Role in thermoregulation Four-chambered heart (structure, function) Systolic and diastolic pressure Pulmonary and systemic circulation Arterial and venous systems (arteries, arterioles, venules, veins) a structural and functional differences b pressure and flow characteristics Capillary beds a mechanisms of gas and solute exchange b mechanism of heat exchange Composition of blood a plasma, chemicals, blood cells b erythrocyte production and destruction (spleen, bone marrow) c regulation of plasma volume © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT d coagulation, clotting mechanisms, role of liver in production of clotting factors Oxygen and carbon dioxide transport by blood a hemoglobin, hematocrit b oxygen content c oxygen affinity 10 Details of oxygen transport: biochemical characteristics of hemoglobin a modification of oxygen affinity B Lymphatic System Major functions a equalization of fluid distribution b transport of proteins and large glycerides c return of materials to the blood Composition of lymph (similarity to blood plasma; substances transported) Source of lymph (diffusion from capillaries by differential pressure) Lymph nodes (activation of lymphocytes) C Immune System: Innate and Adaptive Systems Cells and their basic functions a macrophages, neutrophils, mast cells, natural killer cells, dendritic cells b T lymphocytes c B lymphocytes, plasma cells Tissues a bone marrow b spleen c thymus d lymph nodes Basic aspects of innate immunity and inflammatory response Concepts of antigen and antibody Structure of antibody molecule Mechanism of stimulation by antigen; antigen presentation DIGESTIVE AND EXCRETORY SYSTEMS A Digestive System Ingestion a saliva as lubrication and source of enzymes b epiglottal action c pharynx (function in swallowing) d esophagus (transport function) Stomach a storage and churning of food b low pH, gastric juice, protection by mucus against self-destruction c production of digestive enzymes, site of digestion d structure (gross) © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT Liver a production of bile b roles in nutrient metabolism, vitamin storage c roles in blood glucose regulation, detoxification d structure (gross) Bile a storage in gallbladder b function Pancreas a production of enzymes, bicarbonate b transport of enzymes to small intestine c structure (gross) Small intestine a absorption of food molecules and water b function and structure of villi c production of enzymes, site of digestion d neutralization of stomach acid e structure (anatomic subdivisions) Large intestine a absorption of water b bacterial flora c structure (gross) Rectum (storage and elimination of waste, feces) Muscular control a sphincter muscle b peristalsis B Excretory System Roles in homeostasis a blood pressure b osmoregulation c acid–base balance d removal of soluble nitrogenous waste Kidney structure a cortex b medulla Nephron structure a glomerulus b Bowman’s capsule c proximal tubule d loop of Henle e distal tubule f collecting duct Formation of urine a glomerular filtration b secretion and reabsorption of solutes © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT c concentration of urine d countercurrent multiplier mechanism (basic function) Storage and elimination (ureter, bladder, urethra) MUSCLE AND SKELETAL SYSTEMS A Muscle System Functions a support, mobility b peripheral circulatory assistance c thermoregulation (shivering reflex) Structural characteristics of skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscle; striated versus nonstriated Nervous control a motor neurons b neuromuscular junctions, motor end plates c voluntary and involuntary muscles d sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation B Skeletal System Functions a structural rigidity and support b calcium storage c physical protection Skeletal structure a specialization of bone types; structures b joint structures c endoskeleton versus exoskeleton Cartilage (structure, function) Ligaments, tendons Bone structure a calcium–protein matrix b bone growth (osteoblasts, osteoclasts) RESPIRATORY SYSTEM A Respiratory System General structure and function a gas exchange, thermoregulation b protection against disease, particulate matter Breathing mechanisms a diaphragm, rib cage, differential pressure b resiliency and surface tension effects © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT SKIN SYSTEM A Skin System Functions in homeostasis and osmoregulation Functions in thermoregulation a hair, erectile musculature b fat layer for insulation c sweat glands, location in dermis d vasoconstriction and vasodilation in surface capillaries Physical protection a nails, calluses, hair b protection against abrasion, disease organisms Structure a layer differentiation, cell types, tissue types (epithelial, connective) b relative impermeability to water REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM AND DEVELOPMENT A Reproductive System Male and female reproductive structures and their functions a gonads b genitalia c differences between male and female structures Gametogenesis by meiosis Ovum and sperm a differences in formation b differences in morphology c relative contribution to next generation Reproductive sequence (fertilization, implantation, development, birth) B Embryogenesis Stages of early development (order and general features of each) a fertilization b cleavage c blastula formation d gastrulation i first cell movements ii formation of primary germ layers (endoderm, mesoderm, ectoderm) e neurulation Major structures arising out of primary germ layers C Developmental Mechanisms Cell specialization a determination b differentiation c tissue types © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 10 Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT Cell communication in development Gene regulation in development Programmed cell death GENETICS A Mendelian Concepts Phenotype and genotype (definitions, probability calculations, pedigree analysis) Gene Locus Allele (single, multiple) Homozygosity and heterozygosity Wild type Recessiveness Complete dominance Codominance 10 Incomplete dominance, leakage, penetrance, expressivity 11 Gene pool B Meiosis and Genetic Variability Significance of meiosis Important differences between meiosis and mitosis Segregation of genes a independent assortment b linkage c recombination d single crossovers e double crossovers Sex-linked characteristics a very few genes on Y chromosome b sex determination c cytoplasmic inheritance, mitochondrial inheritance Mutation a general concept of mutation b types of mutations (random, translation error, transcription error, base substitution, insertion, deletion, frameshift) c chromosomal rearrangements (inversion, translocation) d advantageous versus deleterious mutation e inborn errors of metabolism f relationship of mutagens to carcinogens C Analytic Methods Hardy–Weinberg principle Testcross (backcross; concepts of parental, F1, and F2 generations) © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 11 Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT EVOLUTION A Evolution Natural selection a fitness concept b selection by differential reproduction c concepts of natural and group selection d evolutionary success as increase in percent representation in the gene pool of the next generation Speciation a definition of species b polymorphism c adaptation and specialization d concepts of ecological niche, competition e concept of population growth through competition f inbreeding g outbreeding h bottlenecks, genetic drift i divergent, parallel, and convergent evolution j symbiotic relationships i parasitism ii commensalism iii mutualism Relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny Evolutionary time as measured by gradual random changes in genome Origin of life B Comparative Anatomy Chordate features a notochord b pharangeal pouches, brachial arches c dorsal nerve cord Vertebrate phylogeny (vertebrate classes and relations to each other) © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 12 Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT ORGANIC CHEMISTRY THE COVALENT BOND A Sigma and Pi Bonds Hybrid orbitals (sp3, sp2, sp, and their respective geometries) Valence shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory, predictions of shapes of molecules (e.g., NH3, H2O, CO2) Structural formulas Delocalized electrons and resonance in ions and molecules B Multiple Bonding Its effect on bond length and bond energies Rigidity in molecular structure C Stereochemistry of Covalently Bonded Molecules Isomers a constitutional isomers b stereoisomers (e.g., diastereomers, enantiomers, cis and trans isomers) c conformational isomers Polarization of light, specific rotation Absolute and relative configuration a conventions for writing R and S forms b conventions for writing E and Z forms Racemic mixtures, separation of enantiomers MOLECULAR STRUCTURE AND SPECTRA A Absorption Spectroscopy Infrared region a intramolecular vibrations and rotations b recognizing common characteristic group absorptions, fingerprint region Visible region a absorption in visible region yielding complementary color b effect of structural changes on absorption Ultraviolet region a  -electron and nonbonding electron transitions b conjugated systems B Mass Spectrometry Mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) Molecular ion peak C 1H NMR Spectroscopy Protons in a magnetic field, equivalent protons Spin–spin splitting © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 13 Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT SEPARATIONS AND PURIFICATIONS A Extraction (Distribution of Solute Between Two Immiscible Solvents) B Distillation C Chromatography (Basic Principles Involved in Separation Process) Gas–liquid chromatography Paper chromatography Thin-layer chromatography D Recrystallization (Solvent Choice from Solubility Data) HYDROCARBONS A Alkanes Description a nomenclature b physical properties Important reactions a combustion b substitution reactions with halogens, etc General principles a stability of free radicals, chain reaction mechanism, inhibition b ring strain in cyclic compounds c bicyclic molecules OXYGEN-CONTAINING COMPOUNDS A Alcohols Description a nomenclature b physical properties Important reactions a substitution reactions (SN1 or SN2, depending on alcohol and derived alkyl halide) b oxidation c pinacol rearrangement in polyhydroxyalcohols, synthetic uses d protection of alcohols e reactions with SOCl2 and PBr3 f preparation of mesylates and tosylates g esterification h inorganic esters © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 14 Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT General principles a hydrogen bonding b acidity of alcohols compared to other classes of oxygen-containing compounds c effect of chain branching on physical properties B Aldehydes and Ketones Description a nomenclature b physical properties Important reactions a nucleophilic addition reactions at C=O bond i acetal, hemiacetal ii imine, enamine b reactions at adjacent positions i haloform reactions ii aldol condensation iii oxidation c 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds, internal hydrogen bonding d keto–enol tautomerism e organometallic reagents f Wolff–Kishner reaction g Grignard reagents General principles a effect of substituents on reactivity of C=O; steric hindrance b acidity of α hydrogens; carbanions c α,  −unsaturated carbonyl compounds, their resonance structures C Carboxylic Acids Description a nomenclature b physical properties and solubility Important reactions a carboxyl group reactions i nucleophilic attack ii reduction iii decarboxylation iv esterification b reactions at α position i halogenation ii substitution reactions General principles a hydrogen bonding b dimerization c acidity of the carboxyl group d inductive effect of substituents e resonance stability of carboxylate anion © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 15 Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT D Acid Derivatives (Acid Chlorides, Anhydrides, Amides, Esters) Description a nomenclature b physical properties Important reactions a preparation of acid derivatives b nucleophilic substitution c Hofmann rearrangement d transesterification e hydrolysis of fats and glycerides (saponification) f hydrolysis of amides General principles a relative reactivity of acid derivatives b steric effects c electronic effects d Strain (e.g.,  -lactams) E Keto Acids and Esters Description a nomenclature Important reactions a decarboxylation b acetoacetic ester synthesis General principles a acidity of α hydrogens in  −keto esters b keto–enol tautomerism AMINES Description a nomenclature b stereochemistry, physical properties Important reactions a amide formation b reaction with nitrous acid c alkylation d Hofmann elimination General principles a basicity b stabilization of adjacent carbocations c effect of substituents on basicity of aromatic amines © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 16 Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES A Carbohydrates Description a nomenclature, classification, common names b absolute configurations c cyclic structure and conformations of hexoses d epimers and anomers Hydrolysis of the glycoside linkage Reactions of monosaccharides B Amino Acids and Proteins Description a a absolute configuration(s) b amino acids classified as dipolar ions c classification i acidic or basic ii hydrophobic or hydrophilic Important reactions a peptide linkage b hydrolysis General principles a 1º structure of proteins b 2º structure of proteins C Lipids Description, structure a steroids b terpenes c triacyl glycerols d free fatty acids D Phosphorus Compounds Description a structure of phosphoric acids (anhydrides, esters) Important reactions a Wittig reaction © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 17 ... and eukaryotic cells © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT C Viral Life Cycle Self-replicating biological units that must... substituents on basicity of aromatic amines © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission 16 Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES A Carbohydrates Description... G2,M) Growth arrest F Apoptosis (Programmed Cell Death) © 2009 AAMC May not be reproduced without permission Content Outline for Biological Science Section of the MCAT SPECIALIZED EUKARYOTIC CELLS
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